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Violent demolition in San Juan shows how heartless, anti-poor gov’t is

The violent demolition in Bgy. Corazon De Jesus in San Juan today left hundreds homeless and dozens hurt. At least 18 residents and supporters were also arrested and beaten up by police.

The local government of San Juan, under Cong. JV Ejercito and Mayor Guia Gomez plans to demolish hundreds of houses to build a new city hall and pave the way for the erection of the an infrastructure project projected to be a commercial complex and a tourist attraction.

According to the residents, the land in Bgry. Corazon de Jesus was previously awarded to the residents twice in the past by the late President Corazon Aquino and former president Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Last May 28, 2010, the San Juan National High School (Annex Building) have been demolished and a month later, in June 28, 2010 the government demolished houses in Rawis, which affected 400 families.

In January 25 last year, the government conducted a violent demolition as hundreds of policemen and demolition personnel brutally dispersed people who were barricading their houses with tear gas and water cannon.

The scope of the project in Brgy. Corazon de Jesus will reportedly include Rawis, Gitna, Looban, Spac and may include nearby barangays such as Brgy. Kabayanan, Brgy. Pasadena, Brgy. St. Joseph and Sitio Paltoc. The grand project will not only include a city hall with a helipad. It will also include commercial centers, condominium and parking lot and ironically, the city government will also put up a shrine for tourists named Pinaglabanan.

The violent demolition in San Juan done by the government and the police is a gross violation of the peoples fundamental right to decent homes and livelihood. The city government of the Estradas and the Aquino government are responsible for this brutal attack on the people’s rights.

The demolition smacks of heartlessness against the poor, disgusting corruption and state fascism.

We should outraged by the fact that we have a government so heartless and anti-poor, it is willing to violently demolish homes without consideration of the people’s welfare? Anung klaseng gubyerno ito, naghihirap na nga ang mga pamilya, gigibain pa ang tirahan?

Isn’t it that the government should prioritize people’s welfare over profits, corruption projects, commercial and tourist complexes? Mas mahalaga ba ang kurakot at kita kaysa kabuhayan at tirahan ng mga tao? Walang malasakit na gubyerno lang ang ganuon.  

In an interview, Cong. JV Ejercito said the demolition is done to pave way for the building of a city hall, a commercial complex and a Pinaglabanan Shrine, which they want to be a tourist destination. It seems the Ejercitos want to have much fun in San Juan. It is ironic that while we want foreigners and tourists to have fun in our country, we are treating our fellow Filipinos with brutality.

In a statement, the residents of Corazon de Jesus said they were proposing a viable alternative, which was an in-city relocation plan which the government rejected. Showing it has no clear plan to provide housing for the poor, they instead offered to relocate the residents to far-flung villages and danger zones. The people had no other option but to fight back and defend their homes. They bravely barricaded the streets and defended their homes.

Police managed to break through the barricade through the use of firetrucks, bulldozers, tear gases and snipers.

Despite what happened, despite the fact that their houses were demolished, the people of Corazon de Jesus in San Juan were proud that they have fought for their rights. Sabi daw ng isang nanay: Kahit ganito ang kalagayan natin, kahit nagiba tau, masarap talaga pag lumaban.

Tuloy ang laban sa Pinaglabanan.

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